How To Ask Employees About Their Recognition Preferences

Perhaps you think the idea of asking employees about their recognition preferences is a hard thing to do. Doing so might be the best investment of time you’ll make in connecting better with your employees.

Recognition is such an individual experience that you must encourage everyone in supervisory and management positions to discover how their employee likes and wants to be recognized.

These are some quick suggestions for how to do it and what to ask.

Finding Out

Schedule a 15-minute sit-down meeting for each of your employees and individually ask them about their personal recognition preferences. If they are remote, simply conduct the meeting over the phone or by videoconference.

The secret behind giving more personal and customized recognition is to ask your employees. (more…)

Teaching All Employees How To Give Effective Recognition

In the near recent past, the top down delivery of recognition perpetuated the perceived need for only managers to receive education and training on recognition skills.

However, with the increasing demand for peer-to-peer recognition, use of social recognition programs, and flat organizational structures, everyone deserves to learn how to give meaningful and effective recognition.

The challenge is allocating the resources to teach all of your employees about recognition giving. And, teaching everyone in the organization on how to give meaningful, and effective recognition to people every day, is not as easy as it sounds.

Use some of the following ideas to reach out to all of your employees in teaching them recognition skills. (more…)

The Resources You Need To Drive Recognition

If you had a magic lamp and were allowed three wishes of the genie that would appear when you rubbed the lamp, what resources would you ask for to help you with managing your recognition programs better?

And, I am not just talking about money alone. There are people and organizational resources you can draw upon that could help drive recognition practices and programs for you.

It’s fascinating how some company leaders bemoan the lack of employee engagement in their organizations. But they won’t invest wisely in one of the top drivers of engagement, namely, employee recognition.

What are the resources you need to really drive employee recognition? Consider the following list just for starters. (more…)

Top 10 Ways To Revive Your Recognition Programs

When recognition programs stop working properly, employees and organizations go into a state of cultural “cardiac” arrest. Unchecked, your sick programs can result in disengagement and deathly poor morale levels. If intervention happens quickly you can restart and put new life into your recognition programs. Make sure you examine carefully these Top 10 Ways to Revive Your Recognition Programs. Choose one or two steps to apply to your recognition programs today.

  1. Check out the heart rhythm of your programs. Analyze the recognition program data to observe usage: who is using the program, who is getting recognized, and find out what people are actually being recognized for. And, who has NOT been recognized?
  2. Ask employees how recognized they feel. Describe their current recognition symptoms. Employees’ perceptions of your programs will give you a solid readout. Have employees share how program usage could be improved. Ask how they could be more involved.
  3. Determine root-cause analysis for unhealthy programs. Could it be: Lack of awareness? Invisible access? Poor education and recognition training? No communication supports? Not top of mind? No expectations for recognition? Perceptions of no time to use?
  4. Programs may need shock treatment. Deliver a new current of energy and enthusiasm to get back on track. This could be a new program design, new rules, purpose, and rebranding. Clarify the expectations and hold people accountable. Create a communication campaign to revitalize.
  5. Remove arterial blockages to your programs. If there are design and system issues then get IT and your strategy design people to quickly assess and make instant changes. Also, check out and correct people’s attitudes and intentions. If programs are vendor driven involve your account rep.
  6. Educate why you use recognition programs. Reinforce your organization’s strategy, goals, and culture about recognition. The more consistently and better your programs are used the more engaged and productive employees will be. Give people a better purpose and request they identify their “why”.
  7. Recognition programs mostly stop working because of people. When programs break down no recognition gets pumped to people in the company. Work on problems but make sure to educate people on effective program usage. Find out the specific barriers people raise and address each one.
  8. Provide supports to defibrillate your programs back to life. Improve and check reports regularly to determine concerns. Use eLearning to teach effective program practice. Send regular communication messages to encourage adoption. Have leaders and managers set a positive example.
  9. Don’t face recognition program failure alone. Recognition program revival is a team effort where you must partner with leaders, managers, and employees. You must take charge of the choices and needs that affect effective programs. Establish a recognition committee and meet regularly.
  10. When all else fails, plan a program transplant. Removing a damaged and ineffective program by replacing it with a new one is no easy decision. But, if a program isn’t working properly and has caused irreversible damage – change it! Then use the previous steps to help prevent future problems.

 

This post is based on a posting by the author in Incentive Magazine.

What Happens When You Recognize A Poor Team Player

Someone brought up a topic I have heard many times before in a presentation I gave this week.

How do you handle recognizing team members when there is a “rotten apple” of a team member on the team? You know what they’re talking about. They’re referring to the poor performer who is not pulling their weight on the team. Yet, they get included in the positive acknowledgments when the project is done.

The bottom-line? They don’t deserve the recognition lauded on the entire team. (more…)

When Senior Leaders Get In The Way of Recognition

There’s a big difference with how recognition is perceived by people in different parts of the world.

When I was working in India, for example, I found the people there had a preoccupation with getting tangible or monetary rewards. Why? This was mainly because the pay employees earned in India was so low their goal was to meet basic needs. If they could receive any additional money they would take it.

In France, they too found rewards more important than say verbal appreciation. However, this was not for economic reasons. For the majority of managers I dealt with there, they felt that recognition was too much of an “Americanized” rah, rah, exercise. They gave the “touchy-feely” complaint. I had to remind them that I was originally from England, and now a Canadian. I also told them that the recognition I had received, so far, actually felt pretty good.

The irony is, that in all fourteen countries, I’ve been to, including India and France, a majority of employees indicated through engagement surveys that they did not feel valued and appreciated for the work they did. They lacked recognition, beyond rewards and pay.

A subscriber, and manager, from South Africa, raised the concern of how senior leaders would not permit managers and staff to practice giving recognition to one another. They even had a hard time enlisting HR’s help with making real recognition happen in their organization.

What would you do in such a situation? Can one manager impact an organization to make recognition happen?

Following are some suggestions to consider when leaders get in the way of employee recognition. (more…)

Why a Recognition Mission Statement Is So Important

What happens when your organization doesn’t even have a purpose for recognition? Why should you have a written mission statement for recognition?

That’s the dilemma one of your fellow subscribers submitted. For them, their biggest struggle is not having a formal company mission regarding recognition.

Too often, the focus for many organizations with recognition is limited to recognition programs. Recognition programs should be viewed as simply a tool to help people practice the more important, day-to-day practice of recognition giving.

That’s why your purpose for recognition should always include recognition practices as well as your recognition programs.

How can you create a recognition mission statement? (more…)

How to Get Greater Participation with Your Recognition Portal

You’re excited about your recognition programs portal. You have everything you have asked for over several years of design and development.

Your recognition portal houses a recent peer-to-peer, social recognition program. You can easily access your career milestones program from here as well. The social news feed allows everyone to know about career and personal anniversaries and people can make comments, add replies, and like messages of praise, acknowledgment, and thanks for the great things happening at your company.

And, your supervisors and managers, have access to a performance-based reward and recognition program.  Here they can give rewards accompanied by recognition to employees who go above and beyond in their work.

You launch your new all-access recognition portal. Then it’s crickets.

Your wish is to get more employees and managers involved in effectively using your recognition programs.

Is there anything you can do to invite greater participation with your recognition portal? What are some principles you can apply to make your site more engaging? (more…)

It’s Important to Comment and Not Just Like Recognition

Whether you have a vendor designed social recognition program, or an enterprise social networking service like Yammer or Jive, learn to use them to their maximum recognition effectiveness.

The recommendation I am giving to you is the value of adding comments to your social news feed. (more…)